Our current vaccine infrastructure is being stressed by the increasing costs of vaccines. Currently the cost of the vaccines that protect children from 11 diseases is about $400 at discounted private sector prices and $600 at full private sector prices. Adding varicella and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program doubled the annual budget from $500 million to $1 billion. More expensive vaccines are in the pipeline. Cracks are appearing and growing in the foundation that supports our vaccine infrastructure. Do these cracks indicate structural weaknesses that can cause a major collapse when we attempt to add new and expensive vaccines in the future? Is our foundation flexible enough to provide sufficient incentive to the pharmaceutical industry to invest in additional research, development, and licensing of new vaccines? Can we patch these cracks and possibly shore up the foundation with some new girders, or must we...

You do not currently have access to this content.